Marking another achievement in meeting E-911 Phase II targets, Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's largest wireless network, said it is launching another wireless phone with an embedded Global Positioning System -- the 9155-GPX from Audiovox Communication Corporation -- at the end of this week. Verizon Wireless is an industry leader in implementing E-911 Phase II location technology.
In areas where the Verizon Wireless network, local 911 call center systems and local phone company networks have been upgraded for E-911 Phase II service, the 9155-GPX can help automatically identify and provide the calling location and wireless phone number to the call center. Verizon Wireless has installed the necessary software and equipment to support E-911 Phase II service in all markets using equipment from Lucent Technologies, which cover 155 million Americans. Lucent Technologies is one of the companies that supports Verizon Wireless's E-911 architecture.
The company has reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it has achieved aggressive E-911 Phase II milestones by deploying handset-based technologies and network upgrades. Another E-911 capable phone, the SCH-N300 from Samsung, has been available from Verizon Wireless since December, 2001.
The advanced 9155-GPX tri-mode wireless handset also supports Verizon Wireless' national high-speed data network -- the Express NetworkSM -- when used as a modem with a Mobile Office connectivity kit on laptops and select PDAs.
Verizon Wireless said, however, that most customers who purchase handsets with location capabilities should not expect their local emergency service organization to receive or interpret location data at this time. Before Phase II location technology can work for wireless phone users in the above-mentioned markets, Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs), which respond to 911 calls and dispatch emergency services, and Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) must still upgrade their equipment. The company noted that while it is expending significant resources to meet Federal mandates, the public safety community and local phone companies must take action before nationwide E-911 becomes a reality.
Partial PSAP readiness may have been achieved when PSAPs received Phase I service. As of April 15, 2002, Verizon Wireless has deployed Phase I service to more than 1,350 PSAPs throughout the country. But in many cases, additional modifications are needed to receive and use Phase II service.
Verizon Wireless activated the Phase II Assisted GPS handset solution in locations where PSAPs and LECs equipment have been upgraded: York County, VA on April 8, and in the state of Rhode Island on April 15, 2002. Both areas are live with the Assisted GPS Phase II handset solution that provides enhanced location information for newer, GPS-equipped handsets, such as the Samsung N300 handset and the 9155-GPX wireless phone by Audiovox.
In addition to activating the Phase II handset solution, Verizon Wireless activated Phase II service in St. Clair County and Cook County, IL and Lake County, IN using an interim network solution and has deployed the necessary network infrastructure for Phase II to Harris County, TX, Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO.
The company said the collaboration among its vendors, and with Public Safety agencies in IL, IN, TX, RI and VA are integral in meeting these and future goals. Lucent Technologies' mobile switching centers and its cell sites are core components of the Verizon Wireless network.
Verizon Wireless utilizes TCS and Intrado as the MPC (Mobile Positioning Center) service provider, enabling a mobile subscriber's location to be sent to the appropriate PSAP that assists local public safety personnel in locating the site of the emergency caller.